Sep 23, 2020 - Health

Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial of a coronavirus vaccine

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Johnson & Johnson has begun phase 3 trials in the U.S. for its one-shot coronavirus vaccine, with plans to enroll the most participants of any trial yet.

The big picture: Johnson & Johnson's vaccine has several advantages over its competitors that make it a promising option for mass distribution: The company is initially testing it as one dose and it does not have to be frozen for storage.

  • The Johnson & Johnson phase 3 trials will enroll 60,000 participants.

Between the lines: There's an increased scrutiny on the safety of any coronavirus vaccine that comes to market, and the FDA is planning on toughening the requirements for emergency authorization.

  • “With a larger trial, it also increases the safety data set,” said Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, according to the Washington Post. “Safety has been a lot in the public eye, and increasing the size of trials increases the safety data set as well.”
  • It is the 4th vaccine in the U.S. to enter Phase 3.
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